My name is Emelia, and I am the Green Witch. I have power over magic, and I am a heroine for justice.

I was also at the moment running scared for my life from five policemen. The troll partner of the policemen I had apparently…subdued, was leading the charge, followed by a couple ogres, something I had never seen before that looked like a bird-man, and a very fast dwarf. All of them looked furious, and were gaining on me.

I wasn’t stupid, I knew immediately what was going on. All throughout our journey west we had seen our fair share of corrupt sheriffs and rangers, entangled in one vice or another. To see enough of them banded together, and with such diverse makeup, was very exciting!

…And could mean that I was about to die if I did not lose them now.

I gripped the staff, and prayed that none of the deputies had real magical training. I tapped it twice on the ground, and concentrated. Think of myself, running scared. No faces, just the hood. Running left, running right. Always just out of reach of angry policemen.

My illusions split off and started running away. The deputies gave a yelp. They scrambled around, trying to find the real me. Their organized chase melted into chaos.

“It’s not her!”


“Gods above, that little…”

I watched from a small alcove above them. I had spotted a bank with columns on the second floor. While the deputies were scrambling, I had found a little hiding space to breathe. I burrowed myself deep into the corner, closed my eyes, and waited for the chase to calm down into discontent.

Gratitude was not turning out as how I had expected. We hadn’t been wandering around the city for more than an hour. Lana had been wrapped in her robes, Sela had all the money, and we all beheld the city in wonder.

I will admit it. I’m a bit of a bumpkin. Even in Leftarch, beyond the great arch nothing rose higher than five stories. Here in Gratitude, the trees paled in comparison to the buildings. They rose like altars, scraping the sky with their brilliance. Some of them were rumored to be pre-Folly, a legend in their own right.

Everywhere we looked there was something to do. A harbor to the great Western ocean, with great trade ships moving across to ports all across the world, braving the great monsters of the deep. To the north was the Callgar territory and the baronies therein. South sat the Angeles Waste, and east were the great plains. Everywhere, Gratitude was looking to expand and know more.

It seemed a perfect place. There were so many people, I felt I would lose myself in all the sights, sounds and smells.

Then the sky opened up and shrieked lightning.

copyright 2018 Jack Holder

Leave a Reply